‘Rocky Hor­ror Show’ gen­der-bends into At­lanta

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When Out Front The­atre Com­pany kicks off its ver­sion of “The Rocky Hor­ror Show” next week, it will use a va­ri­ety of lo­cal drag queens and per­form­ers with fa­mous drag per­sonas to play its in­fa­mous nar­ra­tor.

Some of those are To­pher Payne as Suzanne Su­gar­baker, Tony Kear­ney – also known as Wild Cherry Su­cret – and Joshua Rack­cliffe, also known as Brigitte Bidet. The nar­ra­tors will ro­tate ev­ery night.

When Kear­ney went to see the com­pany’s “Priscilla, Queen of the Desert” last year, he in­vited the cast to his show Cherry Bomb.

“I told Paul [Con­roy, the com­pany’s artis­tic di­rec­tor] that if he needed any­thing to let me know,” he said. “When Paul came up with the idea of hav­ing drag queens as nar­ra­tors, I told him I would help him wran­gle drag queens.”

Kear­ney is only do­ing one show be­cause he is fre­quently out of town. Along with the other nar­ra­tors, he went to a re­hearsal re­cently and sat and watched the en­tire pro­duc­tion, giv­ing him a sense of what the show will be like (un­like the ac­tors, the nar­ra­tors will be read­ing from a script). He was im­pressed with what he saw.

“I’ve only seen the mu­si­cal a hand­ful of times in my en­tire life. I am so used to the movie ver­sion,” he said. “I watched the mu­si­cal on tele­vi­sion and kind of hated it, but I like this be­cause its gen­der-bend­ing and Frank ‘N’ Furter is a wo­man. I like that kind of up­date.”

Rack­cliffe also con­sulted with Con­roy last fall.

“We have con­tin­ued to sup­port each other and talked about work­ing on some shows to­gether,” Rack­cliffe said. “He asked me about this and I said def­i­nitely.” His Bidet will be there on open­ing night. “We ba­si­cally have to re­mem­ber the lines – although the nar­ra­tors will be read­ing off a script – and to have a per­son­al­ity,” he said. “I think it will be a lot like my char­ac­ter – ir­rev­er­ent, sassy, sar­cas­tic. I em­cee a lot so I’m used to be­ing on the mic. When I’m given ex­actly what to say, then I am able to have more fun. I can work on the tim­ing, how I want to de­liver it. I want to make peo­ple smile. When it’s my time to speak I want

Oc­to­ber 13, 2017

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